As usual, I had bread on my mind the moment I returned to New York from my latest trip to Singapore.
After weeks away from my oven, I always touch down just itching to bake something. And this time, a quick check with my fellow Bread Baker’s Apprentice challenge bakers revealed that they were mired in a difficult spot in the bread lineup.
“We are in Sourdough right now,” said Daniel in Berlin (a.k.a. @MisterRios of the Ährelich Gesagt blog). “Everyone is tRYEing their best.”
Ahh, bread humor. Gotta love it.
After the laughter subsided, however, I started to get worried. Sourdough in the hands of lesser bakers can be a massive pain in the tush.
I should know.
Just last month, bolstered by a successful pane Siciliano and wondering what to do with a bowl of sourdough starter, I brazenly decided to take on a legend: Poilane miche — the Holy Grail of breads.
When I’m away, I find myself overcome with intense longing for something in my Brooklyn home. By the time I return, it’s all I can do to keep myself from running toward it (cue slow-motion romantic comedy music here) and getting it all hot and, well, hot.
My family home in Singapore doesn’t have an oven, you see — so when I’m away from my trusty hunk of stainless steel, a major itch to bake starts taking over.
When I returned this time, I was determined to jump back into the Bread Baker’s Apprentice challenge, where bakers around the world are making a bread each week from Peter Reinhart’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.”
On the docket that week was pane Siciliano, a beautiful, golden Italian bread formed in a voluptuous “S” shape.